To begin understanding some of the vocabulary that we use when referring to tornados, we watched a SciShow Kids video. (I absolutely love their videos!)
Next, we read Gail Gibbons book, Tornados. (affiliate link)
My students really were interested in understanding more about tornadoes so during guided reading, we researched them and really started to understand the different kinds of tornadoes and what characteristics they all have. I have guided weather readers and a collection of books on tornadoes that really helped us during this guided research.
This ignited many questions and wonders so we watched a few more videos about tornadoes.
I also set up a science experiment that was a FAVORITE amongst my students.
To complete this science experiment you need:
-a tall jar filled with water (3ish cups)
-a long pointer (stick, ruler, etc.)
-dish soap (about 1 tsp)
-glitter (for pizazz)
-vinegar (about 1 tsp)
To execute this activity, we first completed it whole group so that my students could see what will happen and to understand the process. Then, I had set up trays with all of the ingredients around our room. My students partnered up and then did the experiment on their own.
As you can see, on each tray I pre-measured the ingredients and my students added them to their jars carefully. They used their pointers to mix the ingredients and form their tornadoes.
They had so much fun with this they experimented for 45 minutes! In fact, it was so popular, I set it out during Choice Time and my students could not get enough of it!
They loved looking for the eye of the storm and naming the type of tornado it was.
(“Look it’s an F3 tornado!”)
Studying tornadoes was a ton of fun and was definitely a favorite type of weather for my students. This was showcased as they started writing their meteorologist reports. Stay tuned because next I will blog about how we became meteorologists and used green screen technology to create a class weather report. It was an absolute blast and a great way to apply all that we had learned during this inquiry!